A Jack O Lantern With A White Beard!

Submitted into Contest #63 in response to: Write about a character making fall decorations out of construction paper.... view prompt


Contemporary Funny Kids

(Write about a character making fall decorations out of construction paper.)

Sally sat at her desk, her elbows firmly set so her chin could rest on her balled up fists. She was annoyed enough she was almost angry but Sally wasn’t supposed to get that kind of angry. Her dad always told her that anger can be very destructive unless it is anger over a just cause, like someone pulling a dogs ears, stuff like that. Her parents tolerated very little anger in their home. Everyone talked about fairness and kindness and being good and understanding each other’s needs.

If this is true, and her parents certainly believed it, why can’t they see her point over this stupid project?  

“Let’s make colorful fall decorations from construction paper!”

Sally frowned even more and the corners of her mouth turned down. She was close to tears but not from sadness but more like frustration. Wouldn’t you be frustrated if they asked you to make fall decorations but then they only gave you construction paper in shades of orange, yellow, brown, and black. Where was the red and white? Where was the green and silver or gold? This just wasn’t fair! Sally liked art and she had a great imagination, meaning she got plus grades in creative thought, but this was just too much.

After much discussion Sally’s parents decided that the color of the paper was not critical in this project but they were sure when it was over, all of the yellow, orange, brown and black would be used up and the rest could be used in future projects. 

And so it was settled.  

They purchased a large multicolored package of construction paper.  

Well almost settled, Sally had one more wish. She wished to work alone, keep her work a secret and surprise her family with her creations,


Sally sat at the desk in her room, she cut a large circle of orange and various size circles of white. She cut triangle shapes of white and triangles shapes of black 

Sally was working on cutting out shapes of many colors and sizes. If she had a plan, she wasn’t sharing it just yet.  

Soon she would begin to construct the decorations that she saw in her mind. The shapes would be changed and formed to fit the picture Sally saw so brightly in her imagination. She needed to keep the theme firmly in her mind as it was the goal, to make fall decorations, but it was not Sally’s favorite time of the year.

The large orange circle became a jack o lantern but it had a white triangle beard that Sally had cut the edges to look wavy and a white mustache. It wore a red triangle hat with a white circle ball on top. It’s eyes were black and shaped like jack o lantern eyes should be shaped and around it’s base were holly leaves cut from bright green paper with tiny red circle berries.

A large circle of brown had small rectangular strips of every color trimmed and placed for the wing and a large fanned out tail of a large turkey, the neck and head were brown too and a tiny yellow triangle became the beak and the turkey wore a green knit looking hat with white and silver tiny circles that look a bit like snow.

Sally laughed as she tried to guide her scissors to cut out a tall dead looking tree, very stark looking from black paper with many leafless branches. On the branches she hung small circles of red and gold, silver and green, yes, very like ornaments on a Christmas Tree. Under the tree we’re bright rectangles of red and silver, green and gold. These were mixed in with small circles of orange with jack o lantern faces.

Next she crafted a snowman from two white circles for the body and an orange circle for the head that had black eyes and mouth like a jack o lantern and it had a yellow carrot for the nose. It had black stick arms, one holding an upside down bat cut from the black paper. It was wearing a black top hat with a shiny silver star on top.  

There was a large skinny triangle of bright green paper like a Christmas tree, it had a garland of orange, yellow and red leaf shapes hung on its branches and around its base were a few orange circles for pumpkins. On the very top point sat a smallish black cat.

Sally began to giggle as she sat back and looked at her creations! She closed her eyes and tried to imagine what her parents might say.  

Her father would smile deeply and pat the top of her head and say..”Very Creative!” Then he would glance at her mother, cough a little cough and finish by saying, “but is this really what you think the project was meant to be?”  

Her mother would find no delight in the imagination shown she would focus on the obvious disobedience, the lack of direction following, the total Sally approach to life.  

All she said was, “Typical!” In a disgusted sort of way and then went back to cooking or cleaning and making everything perfect.  

Sally’s smile had faded as she thought about her mother’s reaction but looking again at her creations, she beamed with delight!

Now her mind was racing to find a way to bring it all together. To get herself out of the negative thoughts her mother was having and back in the good graces of both parents.

Her concentration was great as she tried to cut letters out of many colors of construction paper. She had to go back over and over to make sure she had enough of the popular vowels. She laid them out over and over before gluing the words on fall colored construction paper of red, orange, gold and green.

When she was finished she hoped it read:

“Fall is the beginning of family holidays, 

Loving times with Mom and Dad, 

Christmas is my favorite!”

Now Sally sat and wondered if she was the only girl on the planet who would make such crazy looking decorations. As she asked herself this strange question she could feel the smile forming, the happiness bubbling up from deep in her chest.  

It didn’t really matter, if she is the only one, the creations made her happy and happy is sometimes not easy to find!

October 10, 2020 17:03

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Tambra Birkebak
02:21 Dec 24, 2020

I am new here and read 8 of the stories in this prompt. Yours read the smoothest to me, and flowed well, avoiding a choppy feel. Nice writing.


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Ayush Anand
21:20 Oct 21, 2020

I really liked how you described what Sally did with only the few papers she could get, I could picture it all vividly. Overall a fresh and charming read. Keep going and best of luck!


P. Jean
23:53 Oct 21, 2020

Thank you for your time!


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John Carpenter
19:05 Oct 19, 2020

Too many creative children run up against limitations imposed by their elders, in my opinion. Too bad...we need more creative people in the World, to help us see new solutions to all of our problems.


P. Jean
20:15 Oct 19, 2020

Agreed....we are each brilliant in our own way....I’m still searching for my brilliance! Thanks you for the thoughtful comment!


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